Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

The Asian persuasion

with one comment

Jeff of 8 Asians learned a lot during his sons’ youth basketball seasons — in part, things he didn’t know about sports, basketball and his fellow Asian-Americans. I know in my basketball experience, I’ve learned things I didn’t know about my fellow Caucasians. In particular the old ones — I know now that if there’s one on the court, he can play, or else he wouldn’t bother to run with the young ‘uns.

Among Jeff’s lessons:

Lesson 1: There are tall Asian-Americans out there

Number One Son’s 6th grade basketball team had a non-league game scheduled against “School T”. Both teams were mostly Asian-American, but School T’s Indian and Chinese kids were taller than our Filipino kids. The real shock came when my sons’ schools’ 7th grade team played School T’s 7th grade team. While both teams were mostly Asian, their 7th graders towered over our 7th graders, with a Chinese forward and an Indian forward who were each close to 6 feet tall. … One thing, though, is that when there is a tall Chinese kid, he gets referred to as “Yao Ming.” “Yao Ming just got the rebound!” Annoying.

Caucasian version: for years, any white player who did anything as fancy as throw a behind-the-back pass was “The Professor,” the white guy on the And One Mixtape tour. And that came from other white guys. Also, any good passer was “John Stockton,” if you catch my drift.

2646675204_b921c11c54I don’t care your culture: this pass in Taiwan’s Super Basketball League performed anywhere says “fuck you, punk.” (Shot by Badger23, pulled from Flickr.)

Lesson 5: Asian-American parents are starting to treat athletic experience as something you can buy, just like tutoring sessions

As Asian-American parents become aware that colleges and selective high schools are not going to admit their kids if they stick only to academics and perhaps music, I see more and more Asian-American parents making their kids do sports.

Fellow white people: They have discovered our dirty secret. My god, now how are we going to get Kaitlyn into Harvard?

One Response

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  1. Bob, thanks for the pointer. Great site too.

    Regarding Harvard, yeah, it’s going to get tougher to get in, especially when Asian kids like Jeremy Lin are getting in, a guy who lead his high school to a California State championship and lead Harvard to a win over a nationally ranked team at Boston college.

    One story that I was going to put in lesson 5 (but didn’t for length considerations) was about how one Asian-American family dropped a kid with no previous basketball experience into an extremely competitive NJB league. It was a tough situation for the kid and he clearly wasn’t having any fun, but it seems that his parents expected that he would learn a sport at this competitive level just like he would any other kind of subject. Many Asian parents exert a tremendous amount of pressure on their kids regarding academic matters, and it just seems so sad to see the same kind of pressure being put on to do sports. This is in addition to school, and the academic stuff is still expected to be done a high level.


    April 23, 2009 at 10:06 pm

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